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Friday, 3 July 2015

Net

.
Milky Way's Galactic Plane | by sjrankin

Milky Way's Galactic Plane. Edited European Southern Observatory mosaic image (created by the ESO) of the Milky Way's galactic plane: image by Stuart Rankin, 29 December 2014
 
The time of nature has passed  

NSA data center (seen from Freedom Ridge) 4, Bluffdale, Utah, USA | by gruntzooki

NSA Data Center (seen from Freedom Ridge) 4, Bluffdale, Utah: photo by Cory Doctorow, 7 July 2014
like the dinosaurs.

If Kahn designed a data center, it would go a little something like this. | by ckeech
 
If Kahn designed a data center, it would go a little bit like this [390 Lorimer, Brooklyn]: photo by Corbin Keech, 28 October 2012

The thought of a "natural"
state of things troubles
and distracts.


Dead Admin | by Arthur40A

Dead Admin. No One was really dead of course: p. But as I was shooting pictures of a datacenter... I thought I wanted to be part of the pictures ;)  So here I am -- [Valbonne, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azul, France]: photo by Arthur Caranta, 8  October 2009

There is increasingly the threat
of an objective penalty
for being excluded 

from the game,
from these networked arrangements.


20090728-142038-1103 | by reggestraat

Untitled [Underground data centers, Stockholm]: photo by Antony Antony, 28 July 2009
That no longer matters. 
 

Google Data Center - The Dalles, Oregon | by Tony Webster
 
Google Data Center, The Dalles, Oregon: photo by Tony Webster, 17 May 2015

The world gradually draws into
a global unit, knitted
together by the networks stitched
into everyone's private
arrangements.
 

Snowing in Lockport, keeping Yahoo servers nice and cool! | by robscomputer
 
Snowing in Lockport, keeping Yahoo servers nice and cool. [Yahoo! Lockport Data Center, Lockport, New York]: photo by Rpbert Freiberger, 26 March 2015

At the same time
seeing these arrangements
clearly and objectively from the inside
is impossible.


NSA data center (seen from Freedom Ridge) 1, Bluffdale, Utah, USA | by gruntzooki

  NSA Data Center (seen from Freedom Ridge) 1, Bluffdale, Utah: photo by Cory Doctorow, 7 July 2014

Only by being cut adrift,
stranded
on the outside,
does one begin
to make out the workings
of the game -- 
to make out that it is a game
and not a "natural" state of things.

 

NSA data center (seen from Freedom Ridge) 3, Bluffdale, Utah, USA | by gruntzooki

NSA Data Center (seen from Freedom Ridge) 3, Bluffdale, Utah: photo by Cory Doctorow, 7 July 2014
A "natural" state of things
may or may not
ever have obtained.


Anonymous in Salt Lake City | by Occupy Global

  NSA Utah Data Center. Protest. National Security Agency Data Center at Camp Williams. The Utah Data Center and Bumblehive Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative (IC CNCI). Anonymous "Guy Fawkes" protest of the NSA Utah Data Center at the Bonnevile Salt Flats: photo by Occupy Global, 13 July 2013

That no longer matters. 
The thought of a "natural"
state of things troubles
and distracts.
The time of nature has passed 
like the dinosaurs.
 

Information | by Schlüsselbein2007

Information. Datacenter up at the ol' 9-5: photo by John McStravick, 3 December 2009

All that is left,
effectively, is the present
drawing toward it
as a magnet attracts
iron filings
the mechanical regime
of a future
from which the players of the game,
enclosed
as in bubbles
by their socially enforced subscription
to what is perceived
as an inevitable
and necessary
condition,
would not be able to escape
even if the inchoate impulse to escape
were to become a conscious motive.
NSA Utah Data Center Protests | by Occupy Global

NSA Utah Data Center. Protest. National Security Agency Data Center at Camp Williams. The Utah Data Center and Bumblehive Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative (IC CNCI). Anonymous "Guy Fawkes" protest of the NSA Utah Data Center at the Bonnevile Salt Flats: photo by Occupy Global, 13 July 2013

The world gradually draws into
a global unit, knitted
together by the networks stitched
into everyone's private
arrangements.
There is increasingly the threat
of an objective penalty
for being excluded 

from the game,
from these networked arrangements.

At the same time
seeing these arrangements
clearly and objectively from the inside
is impossible.
Only by being cut adrift,
stranded
on the outside,
does one begin
to make out the workings
of the game -- 
to make out that it is a game
and not a "natural" state of things.

 
A "natural" state of things
may or may not
ever have obtained.
That no longer matters.
 

The thought of a "natural"
state of things troubles
and distracts.
The time of nature has passed 
like the dinosaurs.
All that is left,
effectively, is the present
drawing toward it
as a magnet attracts
iron filings
the mechanical regime
of a future
from which the players of the game,
enclosed
as in bubbles
by their socially enforced subscription
to what is perceived
as an inevitable
and necessary
condition,
would not be able to escape
even if the inchoate impulse to escape
were to become a conscious motive.




Google Glass (detail)
: photo by Antonio Zugaldia, 27 June 2012

even if the inchoate impulse to escape

Google Data Center

Google search cables: photo by Google /EPA (via the Guardian, 22 January 2013)

were to become a conscious motive.


Google data center, Council Bluffs, Iowa: photo by Google/EPA (via The Guardian, 29 June 2013)

The world gradually draws into


File:Google Data Center, The Dalles.jpg

Google data center, The Dalles, Oregon, exterior view: photo by Visitor7, 11 September 2011
a global unit, knitted

File:Utah Data Center Panorama.jpg

NSA data center, Bluffdale, Utah: photo by Swilsonmc, 21 April 2013

to make out the workings
of the game -- 


I had always imagined paradise as a kind of library (Borges): photo by Ryan Dearth, 30 January 2011

to make out that it is a game


Bibliothek ("Paradise as a kind of library"): photo by Andreas Gursky, 1999 (via The Photography Files, 25 July 2011)
The world gradually draws into
a global unit, knitted
together by the networks stitched
into everyone's private
arrangements.





Children playing by road near school house, Kansas [?]
: photo by John Vachon, c. 1942 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

At the same time
seeing these arrangements
clearly and objectively from the inside
is impossible.

File:Meyerheim Versteckspiel.jpg

Three children playing "hide and seek" in a forest (Versteckspiel im Wald)
: Friedrich Eduard Meyerheim (1808-1879), n.d., oil on tinplate, 17 x 20 cm

A "natural" state of things
may or may not
ever have obtained.
File:BRU - CHD 54.jpg

Children's Games (detail: "Hide and Seek")
: Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1559-60, oil on wood, 118 x 161 cm (Kunsthistorisches Museum. Vienna)

That no longer matters.


Blindman's buff | by Boston Public Library

Blindman's Buff: Winslow Homer (1836-1910, wood engraving, illustration in Ballou's Pictorial, Volume XIII, 28 November 1857 (Winslow Homer Collection, Boston Public Library, posted by BPL 23 March 2011

The time of nature has passed 
like the dinosaurs.
File:BRU - CHD 13.jpg

Children's Games (detail: "Blind Man's Buff"): Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1559-60, oil on wood, 118 x 161 cm (Kunsthistorisches Museum. Vienna)

The thought of a "natural"
state of things troubles
and distracts.


Children's Games
: Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1559-60, oil on wood, 118 x 161 cm (Kunsthistorisches Museum. Vienna)

The world gradually draws into
a global unit, knitted
together by the networks stitched
into everyone's private
arrangements.


File:Blind-Man's Buff, Paul Jarrard & Sons.JPG

Blind-Man's Buff
: artist unknown, before 1830, published by Paul Jarrard & Sons (London, England). Print made within the lifetime of King George IV of England (12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830); image by Daderot, 30 April 2008


There is increasingly the threat
of an objective penalty
for being excluded 
from the game,
from these networked arrangements.



Blind Man's Buff
: Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1788-89, oil on canvas, 269 x 350 cm (Museo del Prado, Madrid)
Only by being cut adrift,
stranded
on the outside,
does one begin
to make out the workings
of the game -- 
to make out that it is a game
and not a "natural" state of things.



Blindman's Buff (detail): Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1775-80, oil on canvas (National Gallery of Art, Washington)

At the same time
seeing these arrangements
clearly and objectively from the inside
is impossible.



Blast 2, Crows Landing (Mysterious Camera): photo by efo, 23 June 2014
even if the inchoate impulse to escape


Cyber-security Initiative | by Occupy Global

NSA Utah Data Center. Protest. National Security Agency Data Center at Camp Williams. The Utah Data Center and Bumblehive Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative (IC CNCI). Anonymous "Guy Fawkes" protest of the NSA Utah Data Center at the Bonnevile Salt Flats: photo by Occupy Global, 13 July 2013
were to become a conscious motive.

 
People gather to watch the Independence Day fireworks display in Independence, Iowa: photo by Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters, 4 July 2011

and not a "natural" state of things.
 


fireworks: photo by shannon richardson (electrolite), 12 June 2009
enclosed
as in bubbles
 

fireworks and flags on the fourth (Amarillo): photo by shannon richardson (electrolite), 3 July 2012
by their socially enforced subscription



Tom Brown Park on July 4th, Tallahassee, Florida: photographer unknown, 4 July 1985 (State Library and Archives of Florida)

to what is perceived

Visual Pollution Along Interstate 24, September 1972 | by The U.S. National Archives

Visual pollution along Interstate 24, Tennessee: photo by William Strode, September 1972 (U.S. National Archives)
as an inevitable

Visual Pollution Along Interstate 24, September 1972 | by The U.S. National Archives

Visual pollution along Interstate 24, Tennessee: photo by William Strode, September 1972 (U.S. National Archives)
and necessary



Central cooling plant, Google data center, Douglas County, Georgia: photo by Connie Zhou/Google (via Wired, 17 October 2012
condition,


 
Google data center, Hamina, Finland. Some halls remain vacant -- for now: photo by Connie Zhou/Google (via Wired, 17 October 2012)
the mechanical regime
of a future



Server room, Google data center, Council Bluffs, Iowa: photo by Connie Zhou/Google (via Wired, 17 October 2012)

from which the players of the game,
enclosed
as in bubbles 



Google data center, Council Bluffs, Iowa, exterior view. Radiator-like cooling towers chill water from the server room down to room temperature: photo by Connie Zhou/Google (via Wired, 17 October 2012)

by their socially enforced subscription
to what is perceived
as an inevitable
and necessary
condition,


These colorful pipes are responsible for carrying water in and out of Google's Oregon data center. The blue pipes supply cold water and the red pipes return the warm water back to be cooled.

Google data center, The Dalles, Oregon. These colorful pipes are responsible for carrying water in and out of Google's Oregon data center. The blue pipes supply cold water and the red pipes return the warm water back to be cooled: photo by Rex Features (via The Telegraph, 19 December 2012)

would not be able to escape



  Fireworks over Houston, Texas: photo by Carol M. Highsmith, c. 1980 (Library of Congress)

to make out the workings
of the game -- 
to make out that it is a game




Pop singer Miley Cyrus performs "Party in the U.S.A.", wearing black hotpants suit and a denim vest, atop a luggage cart, at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon, as part of her 2009 Wonder World Tour: photo by calm down love, 14 September 2009

the players of the game,
enclosed
as in bubbles



Diet Coke and Mentos. A Diet Coke and Mentos eruption (or Diet Coke and Mentos geyser) is a reaction between carbonated beverage and Mentos candies that causes the beverage to spray out of its container. The numerous small pores on the candy's surface catalyze the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas from the soda, resulting in the rapid expulsion of copious quantities of foam. Although any carbonated beverage will produce a similar effect, the reaction was popularized using Diet Coke for seemingly producing the best results: photo by Matthew Woitunski, 26 October 2012

by their socially enforced subscription
to what is perceived



Coke-Mentos stunt. Vinnie gets a faceful: photo by Ruby Skye P. I), 17 August 2010
as an inevitable
and necessary
condition, 
 


Celebrate (Diet Coke and Mentos... too much fun): photo by Tara (taralees), 14 September 2011
would not be able to escape


Comanche Texas fireworks explosion
 
One person was killed and at least 2 injured when a trailer holding fireworks for a July 4th show exploded at Comanche High School in Comanche, Texas: photo by WFAA-TV, 3 July 2014

even if the inchoate impulse to escape


Utah Data Center Protest | by Occupy Global

  NSA Utah Data Center. Protest. National Security Agency Data Center at Camp Williams. The Utah Data Center and Bumblehive Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative (IC CNCI). Anonymous "Guy Fawkes" protest of the NSA Utah Data Center at the Bonnevile Salt Flats: photo by Occupy Global, 13 July 2013

were to become a conscious motive. 
 


FaceBook's new custom-built data center, Prineville, Oregon. The photo was taken by FaceBook's Chuck Goolsbee and I found it in FaceBook's Prineville Data Center Wall Photos page: image by Tom Raftery, 7 April 2011

Milky Way's Galactic Plane | by sjrankin

Milky Way's Galactic Plane. Edited European Southern Observatory mosaic image (created by the ESO) of the Milky Way's galactic plane: image by Stuart Rankin, 29 December 2014

6 comments:

billoo said...

This is a wonderful post, Tom. In particular, the repetition of the words makes it into a kind of chant. There's no more wild blue yonder.

It reminded me of a line from Solaris..I think it went: there is no return to the cosmos.

Lally said...

Brilliant post Tom, once again...can't believe after all you've been through you have the energy and focus and time and general wherewithal to continue to produce these extensively and intricately interlocking creations...

Hazen said...

Beautifully said and shown, Tom. Yes, a chant, a Greek chorus doing a play-by-play of the decline. An anthropologist whose name I forget once said that the human ability to evolve, to adapt to (almost) every circumstance, would mean that eventually we end up losing everything that makes us human.

Wooden Boy said...

Each iteration is compelling, itself the working of a web.

It's the thought that everything is reducible to data, everything sunk by a thoughtless, childish disenchantment, that haunts hardest.

Following your posts on Greece, this is very pertinant. The word socialist, I would suggest, is without place in the net. It's troubling but not enough to change things. I just heard Greece referred to as "a potentially failed state" all set to join the company of North Korea and Yemen in the Western imagination.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Brilliant--a series of bewildering moves all leading up to the endgame.

TC said...

billoo, yes, Solaris, that queasy feeling of not-quite-eternal return... Iterative form seems the best way to capture a moment that keeps on repeating itself, but, as if entropically, by banging off increasingly imperfectly-repetitive copies...

Michael, General Wherewithal has now been reported missing, with a substantial detachment.

Hazen, I'm pretty certain human powers of attention have been declining fairly steadily ever since the Digital Universe recognized and identified its own tremendous Intelligence.

WB, yes, it's definitely true that Greece has now been chilled-down in the "climate of opinion" of the "international community" to approximately the same status as, would it be fair to say, Albania?

Vassilis, endgame, isn't that always now?